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Budgetary ledger

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Title: Budgetary ledger.
Abstract: A system and method for maintaining budget related transactions in a financial management system. A financial management system may include a general ledger to maintain account balances and a budgetary ledger to maintain account balances only for budget related transactions. The budgetary ledger may generate a budgetary ledger document, which contains budget related transactions. The budgetary ledger may further include a core to enable generation of the budgetary ledger document, and an extension to define rules associated with generation of the budgetary ledger document. The budgetary ledger may then post the budgetary ledger document to the general ledger. ...


USPTO Applicaton #: #20090313149 - Class: 705 30 (USPTO) - 12/17/09 - Class 705 
Data Processing: Financial, Business Practice, Management, Or Cost/price Determination > Automated Electrical Financial Or Business Practice Or Management Arrangement >Accounting

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20090313149, Budgetary ledger.

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BACKGROUND

Embodiments of the present invention relate to computerized accounting systems and, more particularly, to such systems that operate pursuant to specialized accounting procedures that might be required, for example, by governmental agencies and the like.

Public sector organizations such as government agencies are required to record their financial transactions with a greater degree of specificity than, for example, private firms. Thus, accounting procedures that govern the records for private firms are not completely satisfactory for these public sector organizations because they record incomplete information regarding the organizations\' activity. In a private firm, for example, only the actuals may be recorded on a general ledger. A government agency, however, may be expected to also record budget related activities on the general ledger. In the United States, regulations promulgated pursuant to the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) define the accounting procedures for such entities.

Many Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) vendors sell to these government agencies various computerized financial products, which are designed to support their financial management. Often, these financial products create financial documents from original transaction documents for accounting purposes. These financial documents are required to conform to the accounting procedures, such as the JFMIP, imposed on the government agency. Among various financial products provided by ERP vendors, a budgetary ledger is one of the most often tested components in selecting one of these financial products. Often, the budgetary ledger maintains account balances for budget relevant processes or transactions. The budgetary ledger is typically interactive with a general ledger, which maintains account balances for not only the budget relevant transactions, but also the actuals, receivables, and other types of transactions, to ensure that the agency is managing the funds pursuant to defined limitations. Put differently, the budgetary ledger may post budget relevant transactions to the general ledger to maintain account balances for budget related transactions.

SAP AG, the assignee of the present invention, included a budgetary ledger unit in prior versions of its R/3 product that handled the reporting requirements for governmental organizations. The budgetary ledger unit, however, was deemed cumbersome for its users. For each transaction, the budgetary ledger unit required an operator to manually cycle through a master configuration table to selectively indicate which of a universe of possible predecessor conditions apply to a given reporting requirement and to derive applicable accounts. FIG. 1 is an illustration of an exemplary master configuration table used by the budgetary ledger unit in prior versions of its R/3 product. The table has seventeen different data fields for each transaction. The budgetary ledger has to maintain values for all of the seventeen data fields, and compares each transaction against all of the data fields to determine relevant accounts. As a result, only one or two relevant accounts are typically expected. Thus, it is very difficult to set up and maintain the configuration table. It is cumbersome and time consuming to perform the account derivation using the master configuration table. Further, this budgetary ledger unit is suitable for use with only one nation\'s reporting requirements (currently, the United States). Although other nations are instituting similar recording requirements or are expected to do so, the prior version of the R/3 product is not suited for ready extension to accommodate such reporting requirements.

Accordingly, there is a need in the art for a computerized accounting system that provides for easy configuration of public sector reporting requirements and is readily applicable to multiple different recording policies.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary master configuration table used by a known budgetary ledger.

FIG. 2 illustrates a budgetary management system operating in accordance with embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary budgetary ledger structure according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a method for budgetary transaction management using the budgetary ledger shown in FIG. 3 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary budgetary ledger area determination according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary line pair generation according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 illustrates a simplified block diagram of a computing platform in an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present invention provide a computerized accounting system that satisfies the enhanced reporting requirements that are defined for public sector organizations. One embodiment of the present invention comprises dividing the budgetary ledger into two components, a core and an extension set. The core provides services necessary to call a general ledger (or an accounting interface) of the system. The extension performs account derivation. By dividing the services necessary to create budgetary ledger documents, embodiments of the present invention provide a flexible and user convenient way to configure a budgetary ledger. This structure also permits extension to other reporting requirements by changing only the extension set. The two systems cooperatively determine, from transaction data, how many different accounts there are to record the transaction.

FIG. 2 illustrates a typical budget management system 200 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The budget management system 200 may be provided as a component of a larger financial management system. The budget management system 200 may include transaction modules 210, such as a material management module, a financial module, and a budget module. These transaction modules 210 may process data representing various transactions that an organization performs during the usual course of business such as payrolls, budgeting, purchase requisitions, purchase orders, goods receipts, invoices, and the like. Typically, the computer systems record these transactions in “documents.” The original transaction documents generally include data representing one or more transactions being performed by a public sector organization. These original transaction documents are fed into a funds management unit 220, which determines whether the organization possesses sufficient funds for such transactions.

In general, the funds management unit 220 may verify that the funds to be distributed do not exceed the amount of funds available for allotment or sub-allotment at a given distribution level. To do so, the funds management unit 220 may record related budgetary documents and control the use of funds against appropriation and administrative limitations. The funds management unit 220 also may record and control the types of budgetary authority, including appropriations, spending authority, and borrowing authority. Thus, when the original transaction documents from the various transaction modules 210 are received, the funds management unit 220 may check each document and may determine whether the organization possesses sufficient funds for a particular transaction.

The budgetary ledger unit 230 determines whether transactions are to be recorded in the general ledger database 250. The budgetary ledger unit 230 compares transaction data to various transaction conditions to determine if they are to be recorded. If so, the budgetary ledger unit 230 identifies accounts to which the transactions are to be recorded and generates “line pairs” for recording in a budgetary ledger document. The budgetary ledger document may be stored in a financial module 240. The financial module 240 then posts the budgetary ledger document to the general ledger database 250. The general ledger database 250, among others, creates a history of budgetary ledger information.

FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram of a budgetary ledger 300 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The budgetary ledger 300 may include a core 310 and an extension set 320. The core 310 may administer the creation of account “line pairs” for recording and may maintain the consistency of the resulting budgetary ledger document. The extension set 320 may tailor operation of the budgetary ledger 300 for operation in a given accounting scheme. For example, one extension set may define reporting policies and accounts for U.S. governmental agencies. Another extension set may define corresponding policies and accounts for governmental agencies of other nations. By engaging an appropriate extension module, one may tailor the operation of the budgetary ledger system 300 for any number of prescribed reporting policies. Furthermore, the structure of this embodiment may ease the set up and maintenance of the budget related transaction data pursuant to the reporting policies. Thus, embodiments of the present invention may provide a user convenient tool to configure the budgetary ledger area.

In an embodiment, the core 310 may further include a transaction processor 330, an iteration unit 340 and a merger unit 350. The extension set 320 may include a budgetary ledger area determiner 360 and an account derivation unit 370. These units cooperate to develop account line pairs from transaction documents generated by a funds management unit.

The transaction processor 330 defines an interface to the funds management unit and the budgetary ledger area determiner 360. From a document, the transaction processor 330 may identify various transactions represented therein. Once the document is received, the transaction processor 330 may determine which transaction(s) in the document require reporting to the general ledger based on their transaction data. For each transaction to be reported, the transaction processor 330 then may forward appropriate transaction data, such as a transaction type, a value type, and the like, to the budgetary ledger area determiner 360. As previously mentioned, the document may be payment documents, down payment documents, invoices, goods receipts, purchase orders, commitments, travel requests, sales and distribution orders, forecasts of revenue, purchase requisitions, pre-commitments, funds reservations, and the like.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20090313149 A1
Publish Date
12/17/2009
Document #
12545464
File Date
08/21/2009
USPTO Class
705 30
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06Q40/00
Drawings
8


Budget
General Ledger
Ledger


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